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First, I must begin by acknowledging that my wonderful next door neighbors, who are the parents on my little buddy, "K", surprised me last night and brought this over as a belated birthday gift for me.



Here is a link to the actual manufacturer's website for this generator

P01001 1050 Watt Generator Firman Power Equipment

It is a 1050 watt small portable generator which sells through many sources. I see Costco sells it for $149.95

Some of you may recall in another thread recently, when I saw this generator being delivered to my neighbors front steps during the morning several days ago, it was starting to rain. So I called them to see if they were home and since they weren't, I placed the entire box in a big garbage bag so the box wouldn't get wet.

Little did I know it was actually a present for ME!:laugh::lol:

 

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I have looked at many of these small, low cost generators including the ones sold by Harbor Freight. Many of them were quite "cheaply built" and it showed. Very spartan and very "Chinese appearing" if you know what I mean.

Well, this generator is also made in China for the company, which is based in Arizona. I have to say, I am VERY IMPRESSED with the quality of the product and the companies attention to details. Let me show you some examples of why I say that.

Check out the contents of the box when I opened it.



Included is the very nicely made and heavy duty handle for the top of the generator.

But, the attention to details are just beginning. The manufacturer included nice rubber washers to install between the injection molded plastic handle (which is very sturdy and well made, I tried to twist and or bend it with my bare hands before I installed the handle and it is solid).

Not only did they include the handle and the nice rubber anti vibration / scratch preventing washers, they included nice plated hardware in screws with the locking washers on the screw and a nice screw driver to install the handle. I put the screw driver in my tool box as it was not a "throw away" like you might expect. They even included yellow insert covers to cover up the screw holes in the handle once installed.

Another very nice touch is the generator holds an odd amount of oil (I think it was 13.2 ounces) and there is an oil bottle of EXACTLY the size needed to fill the generator. Not more than needed, not less. Very good thinking to prevent over filling of the generator when new. Also, I retained the oil bottle after filling the generator and when I service the generator, I will refill the bottle with my quality oil and use the original bottle to refill the generator as it is sized perfectly to meet the generators capacity.....Very good thinking on the companies part.....

As shown in the photo, also a very nice funnel which I also kept. All of these items were in actual zip lock plastic bags which could be reused so I stored the empty oil bottle in the zip lock bag to keep it clean and I stored the funnel for filling the generator in the zip lock bag which it came in. Every item was in a zip lock bag which is Nice use of packing materials instead of cheap throw away items.

The attention to details and thought which went into just the packing are showing me this company is WAY ABOVE many of the low priced generators I have considered buying for myself.

Also included was a plug wrench and other items which are handy and useful.

The company is off to a very good start. :bigthumb:
 

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Moving on to the documentation which came with the Generator

Written in english, well organized, with a table of contents and page numbers which correspond. Actually done correctly (which shouldn't be so difficult, but it sure seems to be as of late...:banghead::dunno:.)

Check this out.....



Detailed parts illustrations WITH corresponding part numbers and quantity details. Nice......very nice......



Right there in the owners manual, no need to go looking for them online or anywhere else.....Impressive....
 

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Ok, moving on to the Generator

Very nicely designed and assembled. Quality, everywhere you look on this low cost generator.



The oil dipstick, yes, it has a DIP STICK to check the oil, is shown in the center of the bottom on the front of the generator, right where it should be.



Top of the generator showing the fuel fill cap and the nicely installed handle with the yellow screw covers snapped in and the FUEL GAUGE ON TOP of the generator, right in plain, simple sight.....Nice touch....:good2: an actual, functioning gas gauge. That's handy......



Recoil end of the generator, and look at the real live, fuel shut off valve. Made of METAL, like it should be and one which will function as it should for a long time......Nice.......

The small yellow handle above the black air cleaner on the left side of the machine is the choke lever. Tucked in like it is, it's in the CHOKE POSITION. When you are ready to start it, you push the lever out above the air cleaner. By the way, the choke lever is METAL and has a metal spring on it. Like a real engine should have....no plastic here except the yellow cover on the end of the handle, which makes it easy to see.

I have to tell you, this is far different (BETTER) than the other low priced generators I have looked at in this size and price range.....:bigthumb:
 

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More about my new little friend.....

Everywhere I look on this generator, I see QUALITY and I do not see "Low Price"........



Other end of the generator and the engine. The engine cylinder is cast iron sleeved for a long life, which I was pleasantly surprised to find in a generator of this price range.....



Take a look at the gas tank and fuel cap. First, the cap is quality steel with a rubber seal on it as it should have. Many of the low priced generators I looked at had cheap plastic threaded gas caps which could easily be lost. Check out the steel chain to retain the cap.

Look at the removable screen in the fuel fill.......Nice....

The more I check this machine over, the more impressed I am........:thumbup1gif:
 

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Time to fire up this Bad Boy......

Time for the moment of truth.....

Put some of the Tru Fuel type fuel in it, Premium fuel......No Ethanol....Gas gauge works!



Despite being bone dry on fuel and no way to prime the fuel system other than gravity, THIRD PULL and the Generator is running, registering the output on the gauge.:thumbup1gif:



90 decibels at 3 feet or standing directly above the generator.

82 decibels at 15 feet on any side

78 decibels at 20 feet in any direction



Next to the front tire on my 1025R for size comparison

Engine ran very smooth, it runs at one RPM until a load is placed upon it and then you can hear the change in the RPM's but not significant like the "Auto Idle" feature on my Honda Generator.

Final Impressions......

I am very pleased with the build quality and the attention to detail. This does not appear to be nor run like a $150 generator. In fact, there is NOTHING I have found which I would say "disappoints" me about this unit.

It weighed 47 pounds on the shipping scale with the fuel tank containing 1 gallon of fuel and it's capacity is 1.3 gallons. Here it is shown next to the front tire on my 1025R, which is just inside the door and where I sat the generator to permit it to cool down. Even after running for about 10 minutes, only the muffler shroud was "Hot" as you would expect it to be.

The generator did not make any "brush" or "contact noise" like many of the lower cost generators I have seen and sampled before. The engine, while noisy at 90 decibels (which ironically is the same noise level as my 1025R standing next to it, although the sounds are very different, the noise volume measures with similar results...) it's not an uncomfortable "noise". If you were to use this for tailgating or at a tractor show, etc., if you used a 20 foot extension cord, the noise wouldn't be "oppressive or annoying.

My Honda 3000 I.U. Generator measures around 64 decibels and it is considerably quieter, and the Honda also utilizes the Auto Idle feature to speed up and slow the engine down with the load demands. But the Honda Generator was nearly 14 times the cost of this small generator.

My suggestion is if you are looking for a small portable generator, seriously consider this generator and this brand of generators. The company gets very high marks for excellent customer service when you read a variety of reviews.

The only negative reviews I read about this brand of generators settled around shipping damage and other stuff which has no real bearing on the brand of the generator or the parent company. I really wish people would learn that PRODUCT REVIEWS are to review the product and not comment about the shipper who may have done something while the unit was in transit.

I will say that This generator was packed in such a way that it would take serious damage to the carton to actually hurt the unit. The cardboard box this unit came in is so thick that I couldn't bend the top flaps of the box over one another to seal it like I so often do to empty cardboard boxes. The box alone empty weighed nearly 5 pounds with the packing material.....

If you are looking for a portable generator, this brand and this generator definitely deserve your serious consideration. My neighbor also bought a 8,000 /10,000 start up, portable generator at Costco for his own use for home power outages and that generator was right at $1,100. It is built the same way this smaller unit is, with attention to detail and good quality. Being able to purchase a 8,000 / 10,000 start up generator for $1,100 is a great deal. :good2:

Keep in mind if you are going to be running any sensitive electronics, consider their line of "Whisper Series Generators" which produce electricity intended to run computers and other sensitive electronic equipment.

Here is the parent companies website for review and more details.

Firman Power Equipment Power Equipment

This is a very, very nice gift from a great neighbor and I am sure I will get much use from it. We are really very grateful we have such kind neighbors who are also treasured friends. :good2:
 

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Wait, you have a sound meter to measure decibels? Or was that the specs in the manual? Overall, very nice generator and nice write up! Aren't you glad you covered it up for them (you) in the rain? :laugh:
See, being a nice neighbor and helping them out turned out to be helping myself.......:laugh::lol: Now, I feel kind of selfish......Ok, it passed. :lol:

I have an app on my Android Smart Phone which I use and from what I have seen when comparing it to other methods of measuring the sound, it's surprisingly accurate for being a smart phone app......

I originally put it on my phone as I wanted to measure the sound in my new cab on my tractor. When I have used it to measure various things and then compared it to the values listed in owners manuals and other sources, it's pretty dog gone close.......:dunno:

It's kind of an interesting "toy" to have on your phone. It's also interesting how different types of noise measure verses what one might expect.

For example, inside my tractor cab, the noise was exactly the same measurement as outside the cab and standing on either side of the tractor at 2 feet from the side of the hood. When you stand in front of the tractor, which is the direction the exhaust actually aims, the sound was different (as I hear it) but the noise measurement was barely 1 decibel less. Behind the tractor, at the 3 point hitch, it was 84 (if I recall) verses 89 /90 in the other locations.

The sound of the noise in the cab has a "resonating" effect to it and I actually thought the noise volume in the cab would be greater than the noise outside and next to it, because of that "effect", but it doesn't measure differently.

Sure, it's not the precise measuring instrument that a dedicated, professional measuring device would be, but it gives me an idea and it also provides results which have surprised me, like the difference inside the cab and outside the cab.

Plus it's kind of fun. You ought to see how the real Sulley Bear can blow the meter over 100 when she gets P.O.ed......Her barking when she is MAD are some of the loudest sounds it has measured......:thumbup1gif:(other than gunshots, of course.....) Hey, when you have an app like this on your phone, you measure all kinds of sounds just for kicks....It will also graph the noise and you can get pretty fancy with it.

Shown below, The real Sulley Bear playing World Wrestling Federation with her sister, Beasely......which is an every morning occurrence. :laugh::thumbup1gif::lol:

 

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How ironic....protecting your own present. Good for you :good2:

Great pic of Bear & Beasley too
 

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Great review!!!!

What a handy little "fill in" generator for Mr. Sumpy while Hydro is stringing cable and starting my 7500... Sometimes the lights come on quickly and I wouldn't have wind up the cable and shut down the warm up cycle. I could just pop that little guy out under the Bilco doors and wait it out for a while... Could even get a nap and not get wet feet!:laugh:
 

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What a handy little "fill in" generator for Mr. Sumpy while Hydro is stringing cable and starting my 7500... Sometimes the lights come on quickly and I wouldn't have wind up the cable and shut down the warm up cycle. I could just pop that little guy out under the Bilco doors and wait it out for a while... Could even get a nap and not get wet feet!:laugh:
Thanks for your comments.......

Since I wrote this review and have been "playing with" my new little generator the last couple of days, I had the occasion to stop by HF and take a look at the generators they offer in this size and price range. It only served to reinforce my strong opinion of this FIRMAN generator. The quality of the assembly and the attention to details on things like the handles, choke linkage, generator frame, engine mounts and the list goes on and on. There isn't anything I would consider "done cheaply" on this FIRMAN generator, again, relative to it's sales price and size, especially when measured against the competiton.

Clearly, it's not the Honda Generator quality, but I will say the FIRMAN resembles more of the Honda quality than it does the super cheap china generators I have seen in the $75 to $150 price range.

The FIRMAN generators all have a 3 year warranty. I just filled out the registration card and sent it to them to make sure my machine is covered.

A neighbor has a small china generator and I swear it sounds as if the brushes in the generator side of the unit are going to come flying out any minute as it sound more like a blender running than a generator. This FIRMAN generator runs and sounds just like it should. You hear the gas engine operating and it's not too loud nor does it sound like it's ready to explode. No grinding, no "heavy noise".

I have a 48" floor fan in my garage and I plugged it into the new generator and it ran it just fine, granted the fan doesn't pull a lot of electricity to run the electric motor. I will have to plug in a couple of items and see how it handles them. When out power goes out, I usually end up running long extension cords to my next door neighbors to run her refrigerator and small chest freezer. This generator would be good for meeting that specific need, plus I can eliminate the long extension cords across the lawn to reach the house next door.

I have a neighbor who has a sump pump which runs on a battery back up when the power fails. In the past, I have taken my Honda generator down and plugged the sump and battery back up charger into my Honda when we were going to be many hours without power. On a normal day, their sump pump runs probably 2 to 3 times an hour just from ground water in the perimeter drains as well as from the AC or furnace. When it's been raining and the ground is saturated, it will run 10 to 15 times an hour and at that rate, it wipes out the battery back up in no time. This little generator would be ideal for that, as it will run 9 hours on a tank of fuel and the load wouldn't be constant on the generator. :good2:
 
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Nice b day present. Nice review Sullybear, if I need a small generator I would defiantly buy that one off your review. I have a small 1200 Coleman generator that my Dad had for years. Looks a lot like yours. Man they are handy. Throw that and my pancake compressor in back of my gator and off I go with mobile air for wagon and tractor tires. Corded 1/2” impact and changing wheels are a breeze. Generator is real quiet, use around farm all the time. :bigthumb:
 
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Thanks for your comments.......

Clearly, it's not the Honda Generator quality, but I will say the FIRMAN resembles more of the Honda quality than it does the super cheap china generators I have seen in the $75 to $150 price range. :good2:
Interesting you put it that way. I was reading a review of Firman generators in Chainsaw Journal on line last night, and the reviewer predicted that Firman would end up joining Honda in the elite generator category.

I'd add a link, but the computer I'm on now freezes when I try.

Do a google searh "Firman generator review" and it will be near the top of the page.
 
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Interesting you put it that way. I was reading a review of Firman generators in Chainsaw Journal on line last night, and the reviewer predicted that Firman would end up joining Honda in the elite generator category.

I'd add a link, but the computer I'm on now freezes when I try.

Do a google searh "Firman generator review" and it will be near the top of the page.
Firman sure seems to have thought their product out and instead of simply making a low cost generator, they are building a quality unit that is very reasonably priced.

There are a lot of "cheap" small generators on the market. FIRMAN is clearly building something which they have given a great deal of attention to the details, which really makes it a nice unit. From the inclusion of the funnel, correct sized bottle of oil, the screw driver and other tools to the very well done owners manual, they are eliminating many of the annoyances which have plagued buyers of other generator brands.

I honestly can't look at the FIRMAN generator and say "This should be done a different way" or "this needs improvement". Based upon their price point, they are extremely hard to beat.
 

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Went around the net last night looking for that model # @ $150.00. No luck, where did your neighbor find this one?
 
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Went around the net last night looking for that model # @ $150.00. No luck, where did your neighbor find this one?
He bought it at Costco. He also bought the larger unit, which the store had in stock and the smaller unit was shipped a few days later.

I have seen them anywhere from the $149 to about $249, but that unit at $249 included shipping in the price and shipped, its about 50 pounds, so I would imagine the shipping costs they built into the price were at least $75.......

I am pretty sure it showed $149.99 on the Firman site when I first posted the link. I just looked at the FIRMAN site and there wasn't a price for this generator on there. But I also looked at Costco's site and neither this generator or the 8000 watt unit he bought was on Costco's website........It only showed one generator at Costco's online site.:dunno:

I will ask them if there was a special promotion on at the time they bought it. I do know he paid about $895 for the larger generator as he said the large unit was "just under $900" when I asked him. I saw the larger unit on FIRMAN's website and it's retail price was $1,090 and they has another version of the same model for $1,190, but I couldn't tell what the difference was between them. Some of the larger generators come with a key fob wireless remote starter, which is a nice feature. My neighbors larger generator has one, but this smaller unit does not.

The instructions for this small generator are VERY SPECIFIC about making sure to not start or stop the unit with a power cord plugged into it with a load on the generator, which is partially why they don't include the wireless remote for the smaller unit, not to mention cost.
 
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GFCI Protection

Hi Sully. Nice review. Looks like a quality built small generator. One item appears to be missing is Ground Fault Protection.

Here is a link to a paper on the subject of small generators and GFCI protection.

https://www.usbr.gov/power/data/fist/fist5_13/5-13.pdf

I did see a placard on your generator that the neutral was bonded to the frame. That is one positive step. However, the addition of a GFCI protected 120 VAC outlet would have been more complete. The higher priced Honda generators all have GFCI protection.

Unless you use the generator for commercial uses, you are in compliance with the National Electric Code. However, there are some real good reasons why GFCI is an important safety feature for these small, "separately derived" generator systems. The paper shows several good examples why.
 

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Hi Sully. Nice review. Looks like a quality built small generator. One item appears to be missing is Ground Fault Protection.

Here is a link to a paper on the subject of small generators and GFCI protection.

https://www.usbr.gov/power/data/fist/fist5_13/5-13.pdf

I did see a placard on your generator that the neutral was bonded to the frame. That is one positive step. However, the addition of a GFCI protected 120 VAC outlet would have been more complete. The higher priced Honda generators all have GFCI protection.

Unless you use the generator for commercial uses, you are in compliance with the National Electric Code. However, there are some real good reasons why GFCI is an important safety feature for these small, "separately derived" generator systems. The paper shows several good examples why.
Thanks for pointing this out.

Whenever I use any generator, I always plug a GFCI commercial grade power strip into the generator and then plug the other items into the GFCI strip. I even use these on my Honda Generators for a couple of reasons. One, is the protected trip feature of the power strip and the other reason is that way the items being plugged into and unplugged from the generator are actually plugged in the power strip and not the generator itself. That reduces the wear and tear on the generator plugs and it also adds the surge and breaker protection of the commercial strip.

This is the one I use.....I have 2 of these for the Honda Generator 110 volt outlets.

Amazon.com: Tripp Lite Isobar 4 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip, 6ft Cord, Right-Angle Plug, Metal, Lifetime Limited Warranty Theater


I also like being able to use the switch on the power strip to turn off the load of the items plugged into the generator before starting and stopping the generator. I am not sure what the breaker is on the surge protector, but it adds protection for the devices plugged in and for the generator.

I started this habit because of experiences with using the 50 amp power cord for my motor coach and being concerned with some of the wiring at various camp ground power posts, etc. More than once, I have found where a previous user of the power pole at the campground would have done something to the post for some reason and I always want to avoid having the errant wiring of the source get into the electrical system of my coach. I also carried the same permitting me to plug my 50 amp into (2) 30 amp plugs on the pole.

Amazon.com: Progressive Industries 313.1166 SSP-50XL Surge Protector with Cover - 50 Amp: Automotive

Using public power sources can be like using public restrooms.......Better safe than sorry and once you get into the habit, it carries over to any power source. Precaution and person protection is the recommended plan of action......In the public toilet, Use the A$$gasket from the dispenser behind the seat on the wall (I don't think they are actually called that, but that's what I call them....:laugh::lol:.....) because you never know what's been on the seat before........
 
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The instructions for this small generator are VERY SPECIFIC about making sure to not start or stop the unit with a power cord plugged into it with a load on the generator, which is partially why they don't include the wireless remote for the smaller unit, not to mention cost.
Good and necessary advice for any gen unit. Also a 10 minute "warm up and cool down" with all load disconnected is a good idea.

Thanks, SullyBear!!!
 

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GFCI vs Surge Protection

Sully. For Ground Fault / Personal Protection, when using your unprotected generator, would be a product like this:

https://www.amazon.com/GFCI-Inline-Single-Outlet-Cord/dp/B01GSPTUZG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1538998508&sr=8-3&keywords=gfci+portable+outlet

The power strip you reference provides surge protection, which is also a good feature to have for sensitive equipment protection.....but does not provide personal safety protection afforded by GFCI.

For your motor home, the product you reference provides a test feature for the "host" wiring....a very desirable feature. A bad problem is having an open neutral, which this test feature will identify. It also provides surge protection as discussed earlier. NEC codes require your motor home to have built in GFCI protection, so you do not need anything more here.
 
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